A picture is worth a thousand words. Humans remember 10% of what they read, 30% of what they hear and 50% of what they see. Human culture is all about visual and we tend to figure out trends and patterns easily than some numbers in a spreadsheet. With 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated every day, it becomes extremely difficult to make sense of it. This is where Data Visualization helps us in understanding the data.
In this section, you’ll understand the importance of Data Visualization and how it creates an impact.
Data visualization is a Graphical Representation of information and data by using visual elements like charts, graphs and maps. It is very useful in analysing information and trends because:
Pictures with colours and different sizes make it easier to decipher patterns
Facilitate interpretation of large amount of data
Allows us to tell the story; the take away from the analysis
Data Visualization is a balance between form and function. Your presentation can’t just look good and say nothing or say a lot but not get noticed. It is not merely a graph with some data labels. Data Visualization is an art and a science that needs to be learned.
History of Data Visualisation
The earliest use of data visualization, which dates back before 17th century, was mainly in the form of maps displaying roadways, terrains and cities. Over time demand for more accurate maps increased thus increasing the demand for visualization.
Michael Florent Van Langren, a Flemish astronomer, is believed to be the one who created first visualization of statistical data. He provided the distance between Toledo and Rome along with other astronomers with their measurement. Thus opening the doors to the world of statistical data visualization.
Why data visualization is important?
Humans tend to figure out trends and patterns easily than some numbers in a spreadsheet. We quickly identify different shapes, colours, objects from one another. Human culture is visual.
Data Visualization plays a similar role in helping us understand GBs of data using a graph. We can quickly see the trends in the data and make certain decisions.
As we adopt Big Data, it becomes imperative for everyone to make use of Data Visualization to understand billions and trillions of rows of data. The data and the visuals need to work together, and it’s an art, combining great analysis with great storytelling.
Types of Visualizations
Data can generally be represented in any one of the below formats:
Major Tools used in Data Visualization
Excel – Excel has a mix of Pivot Tables & Pivot Charts for graphs and Power View and Power Map for interactive graphing.
PowerBI – PowerBI from Microsoft is one of the leading tool used for visualizing the data across industries. Its similarities with excel along with powerful dashboarding and reporting feature makes it a great tool to use
Tableau – The top contender in Gartner’s quadrant, Tableau is one of the leading tool for visualization for all for a long time now. With its easy drag and drop feature, anyone can make a simple graph from a data.
Data Visualization is not associated with a specific job role but is a skill that all should know in today’s world of data.
Business Intelligence Engineer – A Business Intelligence Professional analyse the past trends using Data Visualization tools like Tableau, Power BI etc to develop and implement business strategies. They also monitor all the performance metrics of the company and provide insight to the respective department.
Recruiters: Accenture, ZS Associates, Sun Pharma etc.
Business Analytics Professional – A business analytics professional has the skills to make use of the information from the data to generate insights about the business. To be a data focused business analytics professional, you must know the technical components related to managing and manipulating data.
Recruiters: Walmart, Conduent, Genpact etc.
Tools – Excel, PowerBI and Tableau are the tools which almost 98% of the industry uses for its visualization.
Story Telling – Your visualization is useless if you’re not able to convey the information properly. Conveying the right information in right flow is very important in making decisions.
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